Ranking All 30 MLB Teams on Homegrown Talent

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2017

Ranking All 30 MLB Teams on Homegrown Talent

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    All 30 MLB teams put a different emphasis on building from within and cultivating their own homegrown talent.

    A lot of it has to do with payroll, as small-market teams are forced to get the most out of their controllable young assets, while big-market teams can afford to deal prospects and spend big in free agency.

    Small-market teams such as the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Minnesota Twins have done a great job building a core out of their own developed talent.

    On the other end, big-budget teams like the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs don't have quite as much homegrown talent on their rosters at this point in time.

    It's not always a small-market/large-market issue, though.

    The Boston Red Sox have as much homegrown big league talent as anyone despite a hefty payroll, while the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres find themselves near the bottom of our rankings.

    At any rate, what follows is a look at all 30 MLB teams ranked from worst to first on homegrown talent as we get set to kick off the 2017 season with the start of spring training.

                              

    The 2016 version of these rankings is referenced throughout the following article. That piece can be found here.

Methodology

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    Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

    A lot needs to be established before we dive into the rankings, so let's get that out of the way here:

    • Who qualifies as homegrown?: To be considered "homegrown," a player must have been drafted by an organization or signed by it as an amateur free agent and subsequently developed in its minor league system.
    • What about international free agents?: International players who did not sign as amateur free agents were not included here. That means players such as Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Jung-Ho Kang, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Hisashi Iwakuma and Kenta Maeda didn't help their respective team's ranking.

    Now let's explain what's included on each slide.

    • Homegrown Players Chart: At the top of each slide is a chart listing each team's homegrown players projected to make the Opening Day roster. Roster projections are pulled from Roster Resource, so my opinion on who will be in the 25-man squad was taken out of the equation here. Alongside each player is a look at when they were either drafted or signed, their 2016 WAR and their career WAR.
    • Homegrown Breakdown: Below that chart is a quick breakdown of how many of the homegrown players from the table are everyday position players or starting pitchers/closers as well as a final count on how many of the 25-man roster are homegrown.
    • Homegrown Top 100 Prospects: That is followed by a quick list of any homegrown prospects ranked in the top 100 leaguewide by MLB.com's Prospect Watch. This was simply meant as a look to the future and did not factor into the rankings.

    Finally, we need to explain exactly what went into ranking the teams.

    To start off with, the teams were ordered by the 2016 WAR total posted by their homegrown players projected to be part of the Opening Day roster.

    That was simply a starting point, though, as not all rosters are created equal.

    The total number and quality of everyday players, starting pitchers and closers played a far bigger role in determining where a team ranked, and superstar talent was also taken into consideration.

30. San Diego Padres (2016 Rank: 30)

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    LF Travis Jankowski /
    LF Travis Jankowski /Rob Leiter/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    2B Cory Spangenberg 1-20110.42.7
    RP Kevin Quackenbush 8-20110.61.6
    LF Travis Jankowski 1-20121.11.3
    RF Hunter Renfroe 1-20130.40.4
    C Austin Hedges2-2011-0.4-0.7
    Totals  2.1 (30th)5.3

    Starting Position Players: 3/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 5/25

                          

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Hunter Renfroe (42), RHP Cal Quantrill (97)

     

    Notes

    • The arrival of Hunter Renfroe (.893 OPS, 30 HR, 105 RBI in Triple-A) and Austin Hedges (.951 OPS, 21 HR, 82 RBI) gives the Padres a more promising outlook going forward, but there's still a long way to climb before homegrown talent is a strength of the roster.
    • Outfielder Travis Jankowski will likely open the season as the starting left fielder and leadoff hitter after swiping 30 bases and scoring 53 runs as a part-time player a year ago.
    • Kevin Quackenbush has made a team-high 173 appearances over the past three seasons and figures to be an oft-used bullpen piece once again in 2017.

29. Milwaukee Brewers (2016 Rank: 20)

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    LF Ryan Braun /
    LF Ryan Braun /Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    RF Ryan Braun1-20054.444.4
    2B Scooter Gennett 16-20090.95.0
    SP Wily Peralta AFA-20050.63.3
    IF Yadiel Rivera9-2010-0.10.0
    SS Orlando Arcia AFA-2010-0.2-0.2
     Totals 5.6 (27th)52.5

    Starting Position Players: 2/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 5/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Corey Ray (30)

     

    Notes

    • Ryan Braun returned to elite form last year with a .903 OPS and 30 home runs. Don't expect to see him traded now unless someone is willing to part with some quality prospect talent.
    • While Scooter Gennett had the best season of his career last year with a .728 OPS, 30 doubles and 14 home runs, he appears to be headed for a utility role as Jonathan Villar slides over to second base and Orlando Arcia takes over at shortstop.
    • Arcia was the No. 8 prospect in baseball entering last season, but he fell flat in his first taste of MLB action with a .219/.273/.358 line and just 17 extra-base hits in 216 plate appearances. He still has a chance to be a cornerstone of the team's rebuilding efforts and a two-way contributor at shortstop, though.
    • Wily Peralta is the only homegrown pitcher projected for an Opening Day roster spot, but he'll by no means be the only one in camp. Jimmy Nelson, Taylor Jungmann, Jorge Lopez, Tyler Cravy and Brent Suter will all be vying for a rotation gig as well.

28. Chicago White Sox (2016 Rank: 24)

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    RP Nate Jones /
    RP Nate Jones /Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    RP Nate Jones5-20072.35.6
    SP Carlos Rodon 1-20141.53.1
    SS Tim Anderson1-20132.82.8
    IF Carlos Sanchez AFA-20090.00.4
    Totals  6.6 (26th)11.9

    Starting Position Players: 1/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 4/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Carson Fulmer (71), C Zack Collins (81)

     

    Notes

    • Was Chris Sale the Chicago White Sox's best homegrown player since Frank Thomas? Magglio Ordonez and Mark Buehrle are worth a mention there, but for my money, yes.
    • It's only a matter of time before incumbent closer David Robertson is traded and Nate Jones takes over as the team's closer. He was phenomenal in a setup role last season, posting a 2.29 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 with 28 holds and three saves.
    • Carlos Rodon wasn't all that impressive on the surface in 2016 at 9-10 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. However, he struck out 168 batters in 165 innings and lowered his walk rate from 4.6 to 2.9 BB/9, so don't be surprised if he's ready for a big step forward.
    • Tim Anderson looks like one of the few building blocks on the White Sox roster at this point after he took over as the starting shortstop last June. The former first-round pick hit .283/.306/.432 over 431 plate appearances on his way to a 2.8 WAR.

27. Oakland Athletics (2016 Rank: 29)

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    3B Ryon Healy /
    3B Ryon Healy /Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    SP Sonny Gray1-2011-0.59.8
    RP Sean Doolittle1-20070.94.2
    RP Ryan Dull32-20122.22.3
    3B Ryon Healy 3-20132.22.2
    Totals  4.8 (29th)18.5

    Starting Position Players: 1/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 4/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    LHP A.J. Puk (69), 3B Matt Chapman (100)

     

    Notes

    • Sonny Gray and Sean Doolittle have both been staples of the pitching staff since 2013, but both have some work to do rebuilding their stock after missing time to injury last season. Gray, in particular, was a huge disappointment as his ERA spiked from 2.73 to 5.69.
    • Small-market teams like the A's benefit greatly from hitting on a 32nd-round pick like Ryan Dull. The right-hander led the team with 70 appearances last year while posting a 2.42 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 8.8 K/9 with 15 holds.
    • Ryon Healy was one of the biggest prospect surprises of 2016 after entering the season as the No. 22 prospect in the Oakland system. After a red-hot start in the minors, he earned a promotion and hit .305/.337/.524 with 20 doubles, 13 home runs and 37 RBI in 283 plate appearances to establish himself as a key run producer heading into 2017.

26. Atlanta Braves (2016 Rank: 28)

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    1B Freddie Freeman /
    1B Freddie Freeman /Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    1B Freddie Freeman2-20076.522.1
    SP Julio Teheran AFA-20074.813.3
    RP Mauricio Cabrera AFA-20100.80.8
     Totals 12.1 (17th)36.2

    Starting Position Players: 1/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 3/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    2B Ozzie Albies (11), SS Kevin Maitan (32), LHP Kolby Allard (63), RHP Mike Soroka (78), RHP Ian Anderson (86)

     

    Notes

    • Not long ago, the Atlanta Braves had one of the deepest homegrown cores in baseball, as players like Brian McCann, Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel, Andrelton Simmons, Kris Medlen, Alex Wood and Mike Minor climbed the internal ranks.
    • Freddie Freeman is one of the league's elite offensive players and is fresh off a career year (.968 OPS, 34 HR) that earned him a sixth-place finish in NL MVP voting on a 93-loss team.
    • Julio Teheran bounced back nicely from a disappointing 2015 season, and with his team-friendly contract, there's a good chance he'll be part of the next winning Braves team.
    • Mauricio Cabrera looks like a future closer after clocking in with an average fastball velocity of 100.1 mph and backing it with a plus slider.

25. Philadelphia Phillies (2016 Rank: 25)

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    2B Cesar Hernandez /
    2B Cesar Hernandez /Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    2B Cesar Hernandez AFA-20063.33.3
    RP Hector Neris AFA-20102.02.5
    3B Maikel Franco AFA-20101.22.5
    C Cameron Rupp3-20101.32.3
    SP Aaron Nola1-20140.01.8
    SS Freddy Galvis AFA-20061.31.7
    RF Aaron Altherr 9-2009-0.21.5
     Totals 8.9 (23rd)15.6

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS J.P. Crawford (7), OF Mickey Moniak (19)

     

    Analysis

    • Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard, Brett Myers and Ryan Madson were all homegrown pieces on the Phillies teams that went to back-to-back World Series and won a title in 2008.
    • Aaron Nola was 5-4 with a 2.65 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in his first 12 starts last season before the wheels fell off, and he went 1-5 with a 9.82 ERA in his next eight starts before a forearm strain ended his season in August. He may not be a future ace, but he can be a rock solid No. 2/3 starter for the next decade if everything falls into place.
    • While the 25 homers and 88 RBI were nice, Maikel Franco will have to improve on a .306 on-base percentage if he hopes to take the next step.
    • Catcher Cameron Rupp and middle infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis will all open the year with starting jobs, but that could change quickly depending on when top prospects J.P. Crawford and Jorge Alfaro arrive.

24. Detroit Tigers (2016 Rank: 27)

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    SP Justin Verlander /
    SP Justin Verlander /David Maxwell/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    SP Justin Verlander1-20046.650.5
    C James McCann2-20111.12.0
    3B Nick Castellanos 1-20101.60.6
    RP Bruce Rondon AFA-20070.90.6
    OF Tyler Collins6-2011-0.2-0.3
    OF Steven Moya AFA-2008-0.4-0.4
    Totals  9.6 (22nd)53.0

    Starting Position Players: 3/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Matt Manning (74)

     

    Notes

    • Justin Verlander returned to elite form last season, as he ranked among the AL leaders in wins (16, sixth), ERA (3.04, second), WHIP (1.00, first), strikeouts (254, first) and pitcher's WAR (6.6, first). Signed through 2019 with an option for 2020his age-37 seasonthere's a good chance he'll spend his entire career in Detroit.
    • Third baseman Nick Castellanos was in the midst of a breakout season (.827 OPS, 18 HR, 58 RBI) when a broken left hand limited him to just five games after Aug. 6. It's hard to believe he's still only 24 years old.
    • James McCann will need to prove he can hit enough to warrant everyday playing time after posting a .221/.272/.358 line last year and losing playing time to veteran Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
    • Bruce Rondon has not yet emerged as the lights-out closer many expected him to be, but the hard-throwing reliever was a key piece of the bullpen last season with a 2.97 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 11.1 K/9 over 37 appearances.

23. Texas Rangers (2016 Rank: 16)

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    2B Rougned Odor /
    2B Rougned Odor /Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    2B Rougned Odor AFA-20112.44.5
    SP Martin Perez AFA-20071.84.0
    RP Alex Claudio27-20101.11.6
    RP Keone Kela 12-2012-0.41.4
    OF Ryan Rua 17-20110.70.8
    IF Hanser Alberto AFA-2009-0.20.6
    LF Nomar Mazara AFA-20110.40.4
    DH Joey Gallo1-2012-0.30.1
    IF Jurickson Profar AFA-20090.00.0
    Totals  5.5 (28th)13.4

    Starting Position Players: 4/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Leody Taveras (55), LHP Yohander Mendez (56)

     

    Notes

    • With nine homegrown players projected to break camp with the team this spring, it's surprising to see the Texas Rangers rank 28th in WAR produced by those players a year ago.
    • Rougned Odor is the best of the bunch after a 33-double, 33-homer season last year, though his mediocre defense (-13 DRS, -13.2 UZR/150) and lack of on-base ability (.296 OBP, 3.0 percent walk rate) left him as a 2.4 WAR player.
    • Martin Perez proved himself healthy after missing significant time the past two seasons, going 10-11 with a 4.39 ERA over 33 starts and ranking second on the team with 198.2 innings of work.
    • Assuming no other outside additions are made, the battle between Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar this spring for playing time at both first base and designated hitter will be one of the more interesting position battles to follow.
    • For all the hype that followed Gallo and Profar through the minors, it looks like Nomar Mazara might end up being the better MLB player after he hit .266/.320/.419 and 20 home runs to finish fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

22. Cincinnati Reds (2016 Rank: 17)

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    1B Joey Votto /
    1B Joey Votto /Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    1B Joey Votto 2-20024.047.3
    SS Zack Cozart 2-20072.011.6
    CF Billy Hamilton2-20092.87.0
    SP Homer Bailey1-2004-0.46.8
    C Devin Mesoraco 1-2007-0.23.6
    RP Tony Cingrani 3-20110.72.3
    C Tucker Barnhart 10-20090.71.0
    RP Michael Lorenzen 1-20131.30.8
    SP Robert Stephenson1-2011-0.3-0.3
     Totals 10.6 (19th)80.1

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    3B Nick Senzel (26), LHP Amir Garrett (66), OF Jesse Winker (67), RHP Robert Stephenson (87)

     

    Notes

    • Since the start of the 2010 season, Joey Votto ranks fifth among position players with a 39.2 WAR. He'll never be the prototypical run-producing slugger, but his career .425 on-base percentage would rank 12th all-time if he retired today.
    • Zack Cozart's days with the Reds figure to be numbered as they get set to hand the shortstop job to speedy Jose Peraza. He'd likely already be gone if they were able to find a taker for him this offseason.
    • Billy Hamilton will always carry value thanks to his defense in center field and base-stealing ability. However, improving his on-base percentage from .274 to .321 last season was a huge step toward becoming a legitimate impact player on offense.
    • Starter Homer Bailey is owed $68 million over the next three years. His first full season back from Tommy John surgery will go a long way toward determining just how big of an albatross that contract will be.
    • Former first-round pick Michael Lorenzen made the move to the bullpen last season and took off, posting a 2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 8.6 K/9 with 10 holds while emerging as the primary setup man ahead of Raisel Iglesias.

21. Tampa Bay Rays (2016 Rank: 23)

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    CF Kevin Kiermaier /
    CF Kevin Kiermaier /Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    3B Evan Longoria 1-20063.846.4
    CF Kevin Kiermaier 31-20105.516.4
    SP Alex Cobb4-2006-0.88.5
    RP Alex Colome AFA-20072.23.8
    IF Tim Beckham1-20081.31.3
    SP Blake Snell1-20110.80.8
    C Luke Maile 8-20120.40.2
    RP Enny Romero AFA-2008-0.6-0.5
    Totals  12.6 (16th)76.9

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Brent Honeywell (31)

     

    Notes

    • Evan Longoria's ninth season with the Tampa Bay Rays was one of his best, as he posted an .840 OPS with 41 doubles, 98 RBI and a career-high 36 home runs. He's signed through the 2022 season with an option for 2023, so there's a good chance he'll retire in a Rays uniform.
    • After trading Matt Moore in July and Drew Smyly this offseason, the Rays are counting on a healthy season from Alex Cobb and a step forward from Blake Snell, who went 6-8 with a 3.54 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 89 innings as a rookie.
    • Former No. 1 overall pick Tim Beckham is still only 27 years old and could finally get a chance at semi-regular playing time after second baseman Logan Forsythe was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nick Franklin appears to be his biggest competition for the vacant spot.
    • No one has more DRS over the past two seasons than the 67 tallied by Kevin Kiermaier. In fact, the next closest is Andrelton Simmons and Starling Marte with 43. He's also shown some nice extra-base pop with a .741 OPS and 104 OPS+ last season.

20. New York Yankees (2016 Rank: 22)

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    C Gary Sanchez /
    C Gary Sanchez /Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    LF Brett Gardner1-20013.430.3
    RP Dellin Betances 8-20061.18.3
    C Gary Sanchez AFA-20093.03.0
    SP Luis Severino AFA-2011-0.31.6
    1B Greg Bird5-2011-0.9
    SP Bryan Mitchell16-20090.30.0
    1B/OF Tyler Austin13-2010-0.1-0.1
    RF Aaron Judge1-2013-0.4-0.4
    C Austin Romine 2-2007-0.2-1.1
    Totals  6.8 (25th)42.5

    Starting Position Players: 4/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Blake Rutherford (37), OF Aaron Judge (45), SS Jorge Mateo (47), RHP James Kaprielian (58)

     

    Notes

    • Brett Gardner quietly ranks 26th in career WAR among New York Yankees position players. That may not sound like much, but think about the history of that franchise for a second.
    • Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge could very easily be hitting 3-4-5 in the Yankees lineup by the time the 2017 season comes to a close. There are still questions to be answered as far as Bird's shoulder and Judge's strikeout rate are concerned, but that trio has a chance to do some real damage.
    • Tyler Austin is something of a forgotten man with the recent infusion of young talent, but this is a guy who was ranked as the No. 77 prospect in baseball heading into the 2013 season. At the very least, he'll be platooning with Bird at first base to start the year.
    • Luis Severino and Bryan Mitchell will make up half of a four-player battle for the final two spots in the starting rotation along with Chad Green and Luis Cessa. Even if they don't win starting jobs, there's a good chance both will break camp with the team.

19. Toronto Blue Jays (2016 Rank: 18)

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    SP Aaron Sanchez /
    SP Aaron Sanchez /Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    CF Kevin Pillar32-20113.49.3
    SP Aaron Sanchez1-20104.87.9
    SP Marcus Stroman 1-20121.44.6
    RP Roberto Osuna IFA-20112.03.7
    RP Aaron Loup 9-20090.03.1
    RP Ryan Tepera 15-20090.10.4
    C A.J. Jimenez9-2008-0.0
    Totals  11.7 (18th)29.0

    Starting Position Players: 1/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (34), RHP Sean Reid-Foley (64), OF Anthony Alford (70), SS Richard Urena (94)

     

    Notes

    • In terms of both future upside and expected 2017 production, the trio of Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and Roberto Osuna rivals any group of homegrown pitchers around the league right now.
    • Kevin Pillar has piled up 43 defensive runs saved in the outfield in just the past two seasons alone. He could hit .200 with zero extra-base pop and he'd still be a valuable player, so anything he does with the bat is icing on the cake.
    • With Joaquin Benoit and Brett Cecil departing in free agency, guys like Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup will be counted on to pick up some of the slack in the bullpen.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks (2016 Rank: 14)

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    1B Paul Goldschmidt /
    1B Paul Goldschmidt /Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    1B Paul Goldschmidt 8-20094.829.0
    CF A.J. Pollock1-20090.515.3
    3B Jake Lamb6-20122.64.3
    SS Chris Owings 1-20091.62.9
    RP Andrew Chafin 1-2011-0.51.4
    RP Jake Barrett3-20121.01.0
    RP Steve Hathaway14-20130.10.1
    RP Enrique Burgos AFA-2007-0.4-0.6
    Totals  9.7 (21st)53.4

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    None

     

    Notes

    • Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock were arguably the best homegrown tandem in baseball in 2015 when they combined for 16.2 WAR and both finished in the top 15 in NL MVP voting. A healthy season from Pollock will go a long way for the D-Backs this season.
    • With Pollock and David Peralta sidelined for the bulk of last season, third baseman Jake Lamb helped pick up some of the slack with a breakout year at the plate. The 26-year-old posted an .840 OPS with 29 home runs and 91 RBI.
    • While Chris Owings will likely be used as the primary shortstop this season, his versatility proved to be incredibly valuable last season as he split his time between shortstop (70 games) and center field (49 games).
    • The Diamondbacks added veteran Fernando Rodney to serve as the team's closer, but he's far from a sure thing to hold down the job. If he falters, Jake Barrett figures to be the next man up.
    • Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley are both projected to start the season in Triple-A. The former top prospects should make an impact in some capacity in 2017, though.

17. Washington Nationals (2016 Rank: 10)

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    RF Bryce Harper /
    RF Bryce Harper /Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    1B Ryan Zimmerman1-2005-1.133.8
    RF Bryce Harper1-20101.621.5
    SP Stephen Strasburg 1-20093.317.3
    3B Anthony Rendon 1-20114.111.0
    RP Sammy Solis16-20081.11.1
    RP Matt Grace3-20080.1-0.1
    OF Michael Taylor6-2009-0.3-0.4
    Totals  8.8 (24th)84.2

    Starting Position Players: 3/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Victor Robles (8), RHP Erick Fedde (60)

     

    Notes

    • The Washington Nationals sacrificed a good chunk of their incoming homegrown talent when they traded Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton.
    • Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper went No. 1 overall in back-to-back drafts in 2009 and 2010. Both have fallen a bit short of otherworldly expectations to this point, but they're established pieces of the team's core nonetheless.
    • Harper was one of the biggest disappointments in the league last year as his production plummeted after winning NL MVP in 2015. A drop in his BABIP from .369 to .264 certainly played a role, and there's no reason to think he won't bounce back.
    • Speaking of bouncing back, Anthony Rendon captured NL Comeback Player of the Year honors with a .270/.348/.450 line that included 38 doubles and 20 home runs in 156 games. He played just 80 games in 2015.
    • Sammy Solis (37 G, 2.41 ERA, 10.3 K/9) and Matt Grace (35 G, 2.85 ERA, 6.1 K/9 in Triple-A) have a chance to quietly be one of the better lefty relief duos in baseball. 

16. Seattle Mariners (2016 Rank: 19)

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    SP Felix Hernandez /
    SP Felix Hernandez /Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    SP Felix Hernandez AFA-20021.651.4
    3B Kyle Seager 3-20096.924.3
    SP James Paxton4-20101.04.2
    C Mike Zunino 1-20121.81.8
    RP Edwin Diaz 3-20121.41.4
    RP Dan Altavilla 5-20140.50.5
    Totals  13.2 (14th-T)83.6

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Kyle Lewis (29), OF Tyler O'Neill (36)

     

    Notes

    • The Seattle Mariners ranking is boosted by a pair of superstar-level talents in Felix Hernandez and Kyle Seager. And for those of you who don't think Seager qualifies as a "superstar-level" player, you haven't been paying attention.
    • Remember when the trio of Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton represented the future in the Seattle rotation? Now Walker is in Arizona and Hultzen is out of baseball, as Paxton is the last man standing.
    • Scoop up Edwin Diaz in your fantasy baseball leagues, everyone. He'll be closing for a contender, should fly a bit under the radar as a relative unknown, and his 88 strikeouts in 51.2 innings while nailing down 18 of 21 save chances speaks for itself.
    • Which Mike Zunino will show up in 2017? The former No. 3 overall pick was rushed to the majors, and he's never quite been able to get his feet under him at the highest level. However, he's still a plus receiver with legitimate 20-plus home run pop.

15. Los Angeles Angels (2016 Rank: 13)

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    CF Mike Trout /
    CF Mike Trout /Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    CF Mike Trout1-200910.648.5
    RF Kole Calhoun8-20103.410.9
    SP Garrett Richards1-20090.36.1
    SP Matt ShoemakerUFA-20082.05.2
    1B C.J. Cron 1-20112.11.9
    RP Cam Bedrosian 1-20101.30.2
    Totals  19.7 (8th)72.8

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    None

     

    Notes

    • If Mike Trout were the only homegrown player projected for the Los Angeles Angels roster, they'd still probably have a place in the top 20 in these rankings. He's really, really good, folks.
    • As it stands, they also have a quietly terrific right fielder in Kole Calhoun and two quality starting pitchers in Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker as established MLB talent to contribute to their overall ranking.
    • Despite hitting .278/.325/.467 with 25 doubles, 16 home runs and 69 RBI last season for a 2.1 WAR, it appears C.J. Cron is headed for a bench role. Free-agent signing Luis Valbuena will see the bulk of the playing time at first base, per Daniel Kramer of MLB.com.
    • Reliever Cam Bedrosian might be the closer of the near future for the Angels after he posted a 1.12 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 11.4 K/9 in 45 appearances last season.

14. Miami Marlins (2016 Rank: 11)

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    LF Christian Yelich /
    LF Christian Yelich /G Fiume/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    RF Giancarlo Stanton2-20072.527.5
    LF Christian Yelich 1-20105.313.8
    CF Marcell Ozuna AFA-20082.58.0
    RP A.J. Ramos21-20091.26.2
    C J.T. Realmuto 3-20102.64.9
    SP Tom Koehler 18-20080.54.3
    RP Jose Urena AFA-2008-1.4-1.8
     Totals 13.2 (14th-T)62.9

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    LHP Braxton Garrett (43)

     

    Notes

    • Interesting debate: Who has the better homegrown outfield between the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates?
    • For my money, Christian Yelich is the most underrated player in baseball. He's always been a standout defender in left field and a high average hitter with terrific on-base skills. Now he's added power (38 2B, 21 HR) and run production (98 RBI) to the equation.
    • A.J. Ramos will anchor what figures to be one of the best bullpens in all of baseball this coming season. He's converted 72 of 81 save chances the past two seasons with a 2.55 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 10.7 K/9.
    • Catcher J.T. Realmuto quietly hit .303 last season while tallying 31 doubles, 11 home runs and 12 stolen bases. He still has some work to do defensively, but he might be the closest thing we have to a modern day Jason Kendall.

13. Chicago Cubs (2016 Rank: 26)

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    3B Kris Bryant /
    3B Kris Bryant /Jon Durr/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    3B Kris Bryant1-20137.713.6
    IF Javier Baez1-20113.42.9
    C Willson Contreras AFA-20091.81.8
    LF Kyle Schwarber 1-2014-0.11.1
    CF Albert Almora Jr.1-20120.70.7
    Totals  13.5 (12th)20.1

    Starting Position Players: 3/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 5/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Eloy Jimenez (14), 2B/OF Ian Happ (28), RHP Dylan Cease (77), IF Jeimer Candelario (96)

     

    Notes

    • The Chicago Cubs may only check in with three homegrown starting position players, according to Roster Resource, but there's a good chance you'll see all five of the guys listed above penciled into the starting lineup on a fairly regular basis.
    • Kris Bryant and Javier Baez both provide a level of defensive versatility that few players in the game can, and that gives manager Joe Maddon so many more options when it comes time to fill out the lineup card.
    • Speaking of Bryant, what's he going to do for an encore? He's now won the Golden Spikes Award, Minor League Player of the Year, NL Rookie of the Year and NL MVP over the past four seasons.
    • For as much young talent as the Cubs have welcomed to the MLB level in recent years, they still have four homegrown top-100 prospects, including a pair of elite-level guys in outfielder Eloy Jimenez and second baseman Ian Happ.
    • Not included above is outfielder Matt Szczur, who will battle Tommy La Stella for the final bench spot and could have a leg up since he's out of minor league options and unlikely to clear waivers.

12. Baltimore Orioles (2016 Rank: 12)

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    3B Manny Machado /
    3B Manny Machado /Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    3B Manny Machado 1-20106.724.4
    RP Zach Britton 3-20064.39.8
    SP Kevin Gausman 1-20124.26.2
    2B Jonathan Schoop AFA-20082.15.0
    RP Mychal Givens2-20091.62.6
    C Caleb Joseph7-2008-1.02.5
    SP Dylan Bundy 1-20111.71.8
    RP Donnie Hart27-20130.90.9
    RP Oliver Drake43-2008-0.10.1
    1B/OF Christian Walker4-2012-0.1-0.2
     Totals 20.3 (6th)53.1

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    C Chance Sisco (99)

     

    Notes

    • Manny Machado and Zach Britton give the Baltimore Orioles a pair of superstars to headline their homegrown talent, but there's a bit of a drop-off after that.
    • Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy both showed flashes of emerging as quality front-line options last season, and the team will be counting on further progression from them after failing to make any significant additions to the pitching staff this offseason.
    • If Jonathan Schoop could learn how to take a walk, he'd be a top-tier second baseman. The 25-year-old slugged 38 doubles and 25 home runs last season, but he's walked just 44 times in 1,464 career plate appearances. That's a 3.0 percent walk rate. 
    • The other notable name here is Mychal Givens, who posted a 3.13 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 11.6 K/9 with 13 holds in 66 games. He'd be the eighth inning guy or closer on a lot of other teams, but the O's have the luxury of trotting him out ahead of Darren O'Day, Brad Brach and Britton.

11. Los Angeles Dodgers (2016 Rank: 15)

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    SP Clayton Kershaw /
    SP Clayton Kershaw /Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    SP Clayton Kershaw 1-20065.652.7
    RP Kenley Jansen AFA-20042.511.8
    SS Corey Seager 1-20126.17.9
    CF Joc Pederson 11-20103.45.6
    RP Pedro Baez AFA-20070.91.5
    SP Julio Urias 18-20031.01.0
     Totals 19.5 (9th)80.5

    Starting Position Players: 2/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    1B/OF Cody Bellinger (13), RHP Yadier Alvarez (49), OF Alex Verdugo (61), 2B Willie Calhoun (82), RHP Walker Buehler (93)

     

    Notes

    • The Dodgers may only have six homegrown players to contribute to their ranking, but among that group is the best pitcher in baseball, the best shortstop in baseball and a top-five closer.
    • Yes, I think Corey Seager is the best shortstop in baseball.
    • It will be interesting to see if the team turns Julio Urias loose this year. There's been some talk of him starting the season held back at extended spring training, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, in an effort to save some innings for later in the year.
    • Pedro Baez, while infuriating to watch due to his molasses-like pace on the mound, was fantastic last season with a 3.04 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 10.1 K/9 and 23 holds in 73 appearances as the primary setup man.
    • Even if Joc Pederson never returns to being the player we saw in the first half of his rookie season, he was awfully good last year with an .847 OPS, 26 doubles and 25 home runs while playing a solid center field.

10. Minnesota Twins (2016 Rank: 7)

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    2B Brian Dozier /
    2B Brian Dozier /Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    1B Joe Mauer1-20012.250.0
    2B Brian Dozier8-20096.518.4
    SP Kyle Gibson1-20090.65.0
    LF Eddie Rosario4-20101.13.3
    3B Miguel Sano AFA-20090.82.9
    RF Max Kepler AFA-20092.42.3
    CF Byron Buxton 1-20121.92.1
    SS Jorge Polanco AFA-20090.61.0
    DH Kennys VargasUFA-20090.70.6
    RP Taylor Rogers11-20120.60.6
    RP Michael Tonkin 30-2008-0.4-0.2
    SP Jose Berrios AFA-2007-1.7-1.7
    Totals 15.3 (10th)84.3

    Starting Position Players: 8/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 12/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Nick Gordon (50), LHP Stephen Gonsalves (92), OF Alex Kirilloff (98)

     

    Notes

    • The Twins have the potential to rank significantly higher on this list, but first, guys like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Jose Berrios will need to deliver on their vast potential.
    • In fact, it was Max Kepler who wound up being the team's best young player last season as he posted a .734 OPS with 20 doubles, 17 home runs and 63 RBI in 447 plate appearances.
    • After his 42-homer performance last season, Brian Dozier now ranks 17th in franchise history with 117 career home runs.
    • Joe Mauer has the second-highest career WAR of any homegrown position player, trailing only Dustin Pedroia (50.7).
    • Kyle Gibson has been a useful starter for the Twins, but it's hard to overlook the fact that he went three picks ahead of Mike Trout.

9. New York Mets (2016 Rank: 3)

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    SP Jacob deGrom /
    SP Jacob deGrom /Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    3B David Wright1-2001-0.249.9
    SP Jacob deGrom 9-20103.711.6
    SP Matt Harvey1-20100.011.2
    OF Juan Lagares AFA-20060.810.5
    1B Lucas Duda 7-20070.15.9
    RP Jeurys Familia AFA-20072.05.6
    SP Steven Matz 2-20092.73.9
    RP Josh Edgin 30-20100.01.0
    RP Hansel Robles AFA-20080.90.8
    IF Wilmer Flores AFA-20070.30.7
    RP Erik Goeddel 24-20100.00.7
    Totals 10.3 (20th)101.8

    Starting Position Players: 2/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 4/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Amed Rosario (5), 1B Dominic Smith (63)

     

    Notes

    • Suffice to say most were expecting more than a 6.4 combined WAR from Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz last season as they made just 63 total starts. Healthy seasons from that trio will be key to the Mets' chance of contending in 2017.
    • What can the Mets realistically expect from David Wright this coming year? He played just 37 games in 2016 and will likely be limited by his spinal stenosis once again this coming season.
    • Lucas Duda might the team's biggest X-factor. He posted an .834 OPS with 57 home runs between 2014 and 2015 but was limited to just 47 games last season as light-hitting James Loney saw the bulk of the playing time at first base.
    • After flopping as a starting pitching prospect, Jeurys Familia has quickly emerged as one of the game's elite closers after racking up 94 saves in 104 chances the past two seasons.

8. Kansas City Royals (2016 Rank: 6)

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    SP Danny Duffy /
    SP Danny Duffy /Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    LF Alex Gordon1-20050.832.6
    C Salvador Perez AFA-20062.816.9
    SP Danny Duffy3-20074.210.3
    1B Eric Hosmer 1-20081.010.1
    3B Mike Moustakas 1-20070.79.6
    RP Kelvin Herrera AFA-20062.08.2
    IF Christian Colon1-20100.61.9
    SP Matt Strahm 21-20121.11.1
    RP Scott Alexander6-20100.30.3
    3B Cheslor Cuthbert AFA-2009-0.20.1
    2B Raul A. Mondesi AFA-2011-0.4-0.4
    Totals 12.9 (15th)90.7

    Starting Position Players: 5/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    None

     

    Notes

    • Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are both headed for free agency next offseason, which could leave the Kansas City Royals core looking significantly different at this time next year.
    • One homegrown standout who will be sticking around is Danny Duffy after he signed a five-year, $65 million extension this winter. The 28-year-old went 12-3 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 26 starts last season after opening the year in the bullpen.
    • Kelvin Herrera will get his first crack at the closer's job in a full-season capacity after the team traded Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs. He's been an All-Star as a setup man each of the past two seasons.
    • Left-hander Matt Strahm could be the key to the starting rotation, as he will return to starting after posting a 1.23 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 12.3 K/9 in 21 relief appearances as a rookie last season.
    • R.I.P. Yordano Ventura, who was signed by the Royals as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2008. 

7. Pittsburgh Pirates (2016 Rank: 5)

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    LF Starling Marte /
    LF Starling Marte /Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    CF Andrew McCutchen 1-2005-0.737.5
    LF Starling Marte AFA-20074.921.8
    SP Gerrit Cole1-20111.68.6
    RP Tony Watson9-20071.38.6
    SS Jordy Mercer3-20080.96.2
    RF Gregory Polanco AFA-20091.64.1
    RP Jared Hughes4-20060.93.6
    SP Jameson Taillon 1-20102.62.6
    SP Chad Kuhl 9-20131.11.1
    IF/OF Adam Frazier6-20130.50.5
    IF Alen Hanson AFA-2009-0.3-0.3
    1B Josh Bell2-2011-0.5-0.5
     Totals 13.9 (11th)93.8

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 4/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 12/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Tyler Glasnow (9), OF Austin Meadows (10), 1B Josh Bell (27), RHP Mitch Keller (48), SS Kevin Newman (59)

     

    Notes

    • An argument could have been made heading into last season that Starling Marte, and not Andrew McCutchen, was the best player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now there's little question.
    • Somewhat lost in the shuffle of a disappointing overall season for the Pirates was a breakout performance from right fielder Gregory Polanco. The 25-year-old raised his OPS from .701 to .786 and his home run total from nine to 22 as he led the team with 86 RBI.
    • Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are locks for the rotation, while Tyler Glasnow and Chad Kuhl will both be candidates to fill out the staff behind them. Throw in up-and-coming prospect Mitch Keller, and the Pirates continue to impress with their ability to scout and develop pitching talent.
    • Austin Meadows and Josh Bell represent the next wave of homegrown position players. Bell is set to take over as the starting first baseman, while Meadows will be waiting in the wings in Triple-A to eventually replace McCutchen.
    • After flipping Mark Melancon at the deadline last year, don't be surprised if the Pirates do the same with Tony Watson this summer. Free-agent signing Daniel Hudson will be next up to close games if that does indeed happen.

6. Colorado Rockies (2016 Rank: 21)

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    3B Nolan Arenado /
    3B Nolan Arenado /Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    3B Nolan Arenado 2-20096.520.1
    CF Charlie Blackmon 2-20084.49.2
    SP Tyler Anderson1-20113.53.5
    SS Trevor Story1-20113.13.1
    SP Chad Bettis 2-20101.72.6
    SP Jon Gray1-20132.32.6
    LF David Dahl 1-20121.01.0
    C Tom Murphy3-20120.60.7
    IF Cristhian Adames AFA-2007-0.4-0.3
    Totals 22.7 (3rd)42.5

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Brendan Rodgers (15), RHP Riley Pint (51), OF Raimel Tapia (90)

     

    Notes

    • No one climbed further in these rankings than the Colorado Rockies, who checked in at No. 21 last year.
    • The emergence of Jon Gray as a legitimate ace-caliber arm and the complementary contributions of Chad Bettis and Tyler Anderson in the rotation have them looking like a legitimate dark-horse contender for the upcoming season.
    • Nolan Arenado has led the NL in home runs and RBI each of the past two seasons. Babe Ruth is the only player to ever do that three years in a row, pacing the AL from 1919 to 1921.
    • Trevor Story (415 PA, .909 OPS, 27 HR, 72 RBI) and David Dahl (237 PA, .859 OPS, 7 HR, 24 RBI) both impressed as rookies and will be looking to prove they can sustain that level of production over a full season.
    • Charlie Blackmon hit just as well on the road (.926 OPS, 17 HR, 35 RBI) as he did at Coors Field (.939 OPS, 12 HR, 47 RBI) in what was a breakout season for the standout center fielder.

5. Houston Astros (2016 Rank: 4)

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    2B Jose Altuve /
    2B Jose Altuve /Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    2B Jose Altuve AFA-20077.721.3
    SP Dallas Keuchel 7-20090.512.5
    RF George Springer1-20115.010.8
    SS Carlos Correa 1-20125.910.1
    SP Lance McCullers 1-20121.64.0
    3B Alex Bregman 1-20151.81.8
    OF Teoscar Hernandez AFA-20110.30.3
    RP Michael Feliz AFA-2010-0.2-0.3
     Totals 22.6 (4th)60.5

    Starting Position Players: 4/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Kyle Tucker (35), OF Derek Fisher (83), RHP Forrest Whitley (84)

     

    Notes

    • If you had to pick one homegrown duo to build a team around right now, who gets the nod? It would be awfully hard to pass on Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa anchoring your middle infield for the next decade.
    • It's almost comical that Correa's sophomore season was considered something of a disappointment. He was 21 years old for almost the entire season and posted an .811 OPS with 36 doubles, 20 home runs and 96 RBI. It's exciting to think just how much better he can get in the years to come.
    • The decline of Dallas Keuchel and injury woes of Lance McCullers are the biggest reasons for the Astros' drop in the rankings.
    • That being said, a breakout performance from Alex Bregman in his first full season could be enough to boost them back up when we revisit this next offseason.

4. Boston Red Sox (2016 Rank: 8)

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    RF Mookie Betts & SS Xander Bogaerts
    RF Mookie Betts & SS Xander BogaertsRob Carr/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    2B Dustin Pedroia 2-20045.650.7
    RF Mookie Betts5-20119.617.6
    SS Xander Bogaerts AFA-20093.78.9
    CF Jackie Bradley Jr. 1-20115.38.0
    C Christian Vazquez9-2008-0.30.8
    LF Andrew Benintendi 1-20150.60.6
    RP Matt Barnes1-20110.40.1
    Totals  24.9 (1st)86.7

    Starting Position Players: 5/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Andrew Benintendi (1), 3B Rafael Devers (17), LHP Jason Groome (41)

     

    Notes

    • With two budding superstars, the AL Rookie of the Year favorite, a 2016 AL All-Star coming off a breakout season and a franchise icon still producing at an elite level, the Boston Red Sox are absolutely loaded with homegrown position-player talent.
    • A strong case can be made that Mookie Betts was the best all-around player in baseball last year. On top of hitting .318/.363/.534 with 42 doubles, 31 home runs, 113 RBI and 26 stolen bases, he also tallied 32 DRS and a 17.2 UZR/150 as an elite defender in right field.
    • The position battle for the catcher job this spring in Red Sox camp might be the most intriguing in all of baseball. Sandy Leon will get the first crack at starting, but the homegrown duo of Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart is expected to push him hard.
    • The fact that Matt Barnes is the best homegrown pitcher on the roster is the only thing holding them back from a run at the top spot. Guys like Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Anthony Ranaudo and others simply didn't live up to expectations.

3. St. Louis Cardinals (2016 Rank: 2)

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    C Yadier Molina /
    C Yadier Molina /Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    C Yadier Molina4-20002.933.3
    3B Matt Carpenter13-20093.417.5
    SP Lance Lynn1-2008-11.8
    SP Carlos Martinez AFA-20105.49.3
    SP Michael Wacha 1-2012-0.45.7
    2B Kolten Wong1-20111.55.3
    RP Trevor Rosenthal 21-20090.05.3
    RP Kevin Siegrist 41-20081.74.4
    1B Matt Adams23-20090.74.3
    RF Stephen Piscotty 1-20122.93.8
    IF Greg Garcia7-20101.82.4
    OF Tommy Pham 16-2006-0.11.4
    Totals 19.8 (7th)104.5

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 12/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Alex Reyes (6), C Carson Kelly (39), RHP Luke Weaver (68), SS Delvin Perez (91)

     

    Notes

    • The St. Louis Cardinals may have missed the postseason in 2016, but they've been playing in October in 12 of the past 17 years. Their ability to draft and develop both position-player talent and pitchers is a big reason why.
    • Guys like Matt Carpenter (13th round), Trevor Rosenthal (21st round) Matt Adams (23rd round), and Kevin Siegrist (41st round) are a real testament to the scouting department.
    • Is Yadier Molina a Hall of Famer? He's hands down the best defensive catcher of his era, and his impact on the team's success has gone far beyond his numbers. His 33.3 career WAR ranks just 28th all-time among catchers, though.
    • With healthy seasons from Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn alongside emerging ace Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals starting rotation could be as reliant on homegrown talent as anyone. Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver are also waiting in the wings, though it wouldn't be surprising in the least to see Reyes break camp as the No. 5 starter.

2. San Francisco Giants (2016 Rank: 1)

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    C Buster Posey /
    C Buster Posey /Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    C Buster Posey1-20084.733.5
    SP Matt Cain1-2002-0.731.0
    SP Madison Bumgarner 1-20075.025.2
    SS Brandon Crawford4-20084.518.5
    1B Brandon Belt5-20094.316.9
    2B Joe Panik 1-20111.15.5
    RP Derek Law9-20111.51.5
    OF Jarrett Parker2-20100.20.7
    OF Mac Williamson3-20120.40.2
    RP Steven Okert 4-20120.20.2
    Totals 21.2 (5th)133.2

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Tyler Beede (88), IF Christian Arroyo (89)

     

    Notes

    • The San Francisco Giants broke camp with a completely homegrown infield last season. Third baseman Matt Duffy has since been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays, but the trio of Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik still represents a significant part of the offense.
    • Of course, the leader of the offense and the face of the franchise is still catcher Buster Posey. Even in a down year by his standards, he was arguably the best all-around backstop in the game. With the recent addition of veteran Nick Hundley, it will be interesting to see if he plays more first base.
    • Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson will battle it out for the starting left field job this spring, though a platoon of the two could wind up being the answer.
    • There are plenty of impressive homegrown duos to choose from, but none rival Posey and Madison Bumgarner in terms of postseason success.

1. Cleveland Indians (2016 Rank: 9)

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    SS Francisco Lindor /
    SS Francisco Lindor /Elsa/Getty Images

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2016 WARCareer WAR
    2B Jason Kipnis 2-20094.120.1
    SS Francisco Lindor 1-20115.710.3
    SP Danny Salazar AFA-20062.98.1
    RF Lonnie Chisenhall 1-20081.47.6
    3B Jose Ramirez AFA-20093.97.2
    RP Cody Allen23-20112.17.0
    SP Josh Tomlin19-20061.64.2
    C Roberto Perez33-20080.52.9
    RP Kyle Crockett4-20130.11.3
    CF Tyler Naquin 1-20120.90.9
    IF Erik Gonzalez AFA-20080.00.0
    Totals  23.2 (2nd)69.6

    Starting Position Players: 4/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Bradley Zimmer (22), C Francisco Mejia (40), RHP Triston McKenzie (57), 1B Bobby Bradley (95)

     

    Notes

    • The Cleveland Indians don't come close to the World Series without the contributions of homegrown talent up and down the roster.
    • Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor are as productive as any middle infield in baseball, and Lindor is a bona-fide superstar in the making as he gets set to enter his age-23 season and is already the face of the franchise.
    • Danny Salazar was a non-factor in the postseason after suffering an injury in September, but he was terrific leading up to that point, going 11-6 with a 3.87 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 161 strikeouts in 137.1 innings of work.
    • While Andrew Miller gets all the attention, the closer job still belongs to Cody Allen, and he's been terrific in that role with 90 saves in 101 chances over the past three seasons to go along with a 2.52 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 12.0 K/9.
    • There's more help on the way, as Bradley Zimmer, Francisco Mejia and Triston McKenzie are all top-tier prospects.